Bridgewater says it got ghosted: Firm claims Quadrum cut it out of BK project

The two companies allegedly agreed to form a joint venture in Greenpoint
By Kathryn Brenzel | May 17, 2016 03:50PM

Bridgewater Capital Partners claims it was blindsided by its breakup with Quadrum Global. The relationship seemed to be going great until Quadrum asked for its stuff back — keys, bills and other items related to the mixed-use rental building they had planned to build together.

The Queens-based company is suing Quadrum for cutting it out of plans to develop 53 Huron Street in Brooklyn, according to a complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court on May 11.

Quadrum, a London-based private equity firm, bought the Greenpoint site for $45.5 million in 2014, with plans to build two residential towers with more than 500 apartments. But Bridgewater claims this wasn’t always the case, arguing in court papers that Quadrum unceremoniously scrapped a joint venture in what amounted to a real estate equivalent of ghosting.

Bridgewater alleges that the two companies planned to form a joint venture to develop the 179,000-square-foot waterfront site into mixed-use rental buildings. The pair discussed buying and co-developing the waterfront property, and at the end of June 2014, Quadrum sent a letter to Bridgewater laying out its intention to form a joint venture with the company, the lawsuit claims. When it came to buying the site, Bridgewater alleges that it was “integral in ensuring that the deal got done” by consulting with the previous property owner, and environmental engineer to make sure no significant problems existed on the site.

A representative for Quadrum could not immediately be reached for comment.

After the deal closed, Bridgewater began overseeing the “day-to-day activities” on the site, a role allegedly spelled out in its agreement with Quadrum. Then, Quadrum began “dragging its heels on completing the joint venture agreement,” the lawsuit claims. Still, “there was never any indication in the written communications between the parties that the venture, itself, was in any danger of ending,” Bridgewater claims.

But by February 2015, it became clear that the “relationship had gone sour,” when an employee at Quardum emailed Bridgewater asking for “some stuff related” to the site, including receipts, the keys and any leasing documents, the lawsuit claims. Quadrum then quietly changed the locks on the property, Bridgewater alleges.

No officials plans for the site have yet been filed. The project’s architect, Young Kim of Tan Architect, told Brownstoner in January that the plans are currently on hold.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the location of Bridgewater’s office. It’s in Long Island City. An incorrect photo also accompanied the story.